Just because you have a criminal record doesn’t mean you can’t live a fully satisfying and happy life. One area that people often worry about, however, is employment. You might find yourself thinking that it’s impossible to find work with a criminal record, or that it will at least reduce your chances. And while it can seem that way, in truth there is no reason you can’t build a rewarding career just because you have a criminal record. Here is some advice on finding valuable work when you have a criminal record in your past.
Keeping Your Options Open
The first thing to remember is that you should still be able to forge the career you want, despite having a criminal record. If you find yourself assuming that you can’t do this, then this is certainly an idea you should try to challenge as soon as possible. In fact, you should be able to make sure that you are keeping your options as open as you can, as you never know what opportunities might present themselves now or in the future. Don’t second guess it before it happens – just allow yourself to believe that you are able to get the job you want.
Of course, it’s no use in trying to pretend that you don’t have a criminal record. It is, after all, something that employers have to check, and they will soon find out if you are being dishonest about this. If that happens, it won’t do you any favors at all. It’s much better to be upfront and honest about it, and fight your case. Besides, you shouldn’t find that you get discriminated against just because you might have a record, as a new Checkr study on hiring people with criminal records clearly shows. So be honest about it from the start.
Preparing Your Disclosure Statement
You might find that it is best to simply talk openly about your offense – or apparent offense – when you are applying for work. And for this, you will often need to write a disclosure statement. Despite this being something that many people fear having to do, it can actually be a great way to allow yourself to explain what happened and why. If you can think of it as an opportunity to explain, you will find it can become a lot less worrying, and might actually be something that you can enjoy writing.
You Are Not Alone
Remember, although it can feel ostracizing having a criminal record when you apply for work, you are not alone. In fact, one in four people of working age have a criminal record of some kind – so that’s a lot of people in the same position as you, and it means the employer is very likely to have seen disclosure statements and so on before. Remember that, and you should find it easier to apply for work without worrying about it too much. And that turns out to be most of the battle.